World Bulletin / News Desk
Two men have been arrested in the Greek Cypriot-controlled southern Cyprus after they threatened to 'blow up' all mosques on the eastern Mediterranean island.
The two suspects, a 30-year-old French national and his 27-year-old Senegalese flatmate, aroused suspicion on Wednesday when they were caught behaving suspiciously in a mosque in the southern coastal city to Limassol.
Authorities were alerted when the imam of the mosque, which is found in the old Turkish Cypriot district of the city, asked the pair what they were doing, to which they replied saying that they were going to 'blow up all the mosques in Cyprus.'
“Some information concerning issues of terrorism are being investigated, but so far nothing is confirmed and investigations continue,” Police spokesman Andreas Angelides was reported to have said by Cyprus Mail.
Fileleftheros newspaper also reported that Interpol was also notified, while Simerini newspaper claimed that the Frenchman, who is originally from Congo, is a known member of the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
In June, Greek Cypriot daily Politis claimed that the breakaway Al Qaeda splinter group ISIL was considering establishing an illegal base on the eastern Mediterranean island to counter an alleged training camp set up by Lebanon's Iran-backed Hezbollah.
Quoting Russia's Pravda newspaper, the ISIL is believed to be palnning to establish a number of bases in the Middle-East and the Caucasus, including in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Cyprus.
However, the newspaper did not state whether the base would be in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) or the Greek Cypriot-contolled south.
Haberkktc also reported that Kuwait's Al-Rai newspaper quoted Western intelligence sources when noting that Hezbollah had set up bases in Cyprus to hit Israeli targets.
Al-Rai then added that new intel had suggested that the ISIL was planning to also set up bases in Cyprus as a possible option of attack against rival Hezbollah bases.
Earlier this week Britain began using their Akrotiri airbase in Cyprus to assist in the operation of distributing aid to Iraqis fleeing violence from ISIL militants around the city of Mosul.
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